Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
Boring_Username
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Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby Boring_Username » 1 Jan 2018, 9:46pm

Hi all

A lot of the recommended routes suggest riding along the B7076, which I believe used to be the A74. It seems to hug very close to the A74(M) for the whole 60 miles or so.

I'm not very keen on being within seeing and hearing distance of a motorway for the whole day. Can anyone with recent experience of the route tell me whether my concerns are well founded or not?

Thanks

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Paulatic
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Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby Paulatic » 1 Jan 2018, 10:09pm

Boring_Username wrote:Hi all

A lot of the recommended routes suggest riding along the B7076, which I believe used to be the A74. It seems to hug very close to the A74(M) for the whole 60 miles or so.

I'm not very keen on being within seeing and hearing distance of a motorway for the whole day. Can anyone with recent experience of the route tell me whether my concerns are well founded or not?

Thanks

I cycle this section all the time. It’s noisy and the surface can best described as rough. North o Beattock is the quietest traffic wise. When you get to Crawford you can take a back road to Abington.
It won’t add many miles if you leave it at Ecclefechen head for Hoddam , Lochmaben, Templand, and come out and Beattock
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mnichols
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby mnichols » 1 Jan 2018, 11:59pm

Living in Bath I've not done it as much as Paulatic, but I've done it 3 times, last time was in the summer. It's a fairly unique stretch of road. I can't think of another like it. It's a long straight drag, but strangely enjoyable. I always remember it on my LeJoGs, it's a sort of traditional. It's a road i love and hate in equal measure. I can't imagine doing an LeJoG without it.....climbing up past the turbines. It's a tough stretch of road and I'm glad to stop in the services for a cup of tea. Makes me want to do it again

The motorway is far enough away not to be a bother

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Paulatic
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby Paulatic » 2 Jan 2018, 9:44am

They do say abscence makes the heart grow fonder. I’ve got used to, perhaps hardened, to the route. On the check in desk at Moffat for the LEL last year I heard a lot of negative comments. When meeting E2Enders on the road I would say their biggest gripe is the road surface.
I ride the section north from Beattock at least once a week in the summer and I enjoy the long drag and absence of cars. The Motorway noise can be intrusive but it depends on which way the wind blows. My least favourite section is Lockerbie to Johnstonebridge. This section has become increasingly industrialised. Power station, saw mills, lorry park and haulage yards. Another huge development is due to open soon. It has a new roundabout and more rubbish cycle provision, completed Xmas eve, that no one will use. My local councillors will be sick of me nagging. lol. You can dodge this section by using lanes on the left to Millhousebridge, Templand, Beattock.
The direct route from Fechen to Beattock is 20ml The route I offered last night is 25ml
A route I use mostly is 21.6 and cuts out some of the worst section but not all.
Can’t upload gpx files here but pm me with an email if you want them.
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Boring_Username
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby Boring_Username » 2 Jan 2018, 10:07am

Thanks all

Any obvious alternatives to heading towards Abington if starting from Carlisle?

mnichols
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby mnichols » 2 Jan 2018, 10:43am

Paulatic wrote:They do say abscence makes the heart grow fonder. I’ve got used to, perhaps hardened, to the route. On the check in desk at Moffat for the LEL last year I heard a lot of negative comments. When meeting E2Enders on the road I would say their biggest gripe is the road surface.
I ride the section north from Beattock at least once a week in the summer and I enjoy the long drag and absence of cars. The Motorway noise can be intrusive but it depends on which way the wind blows. My least favourite section is Lockerbie to Johnstonebridge. This section has become increasingly industrialised. Power station, saw mills, lorry park and haulage yards. Another huge development is due to open soon. It has a new roundabout and more rubbish cycle provision, completed Xmas eve, that no one will use. My local councillors will be sick of me nagging. lol. You can dodge this section by using lanes on the left to Millhousebridge, Templand, Beattock.
The direct route from Fechen to Beattock is 20ml The route I offered last night is 25ml
A route I use mostly is 21.6 and cuts out some of the worst section but not all.
Can’t upload gpx files here but pm me with an email if you want them.


On the LeJoG it comes at a tough time of the tour. I remember doing it in 2016 on a 5 day LeJoG. The day we did this road was day 3, Starting in Preston and finished in Abington. There were three of us and we had got separated by a couple of hundred yards, taken different routes, and the chap that was on his own decided not to stop for lunch and do the last 100 miles without a break. So by the time the other two of us had a sandwich and coffee he was about 10 miles ahead. He'd done a couple of Iron Men events and reasoned that he could, but hadn't factored in the cumulative fatigue of the previous days and bonked. It's a hard road, it looks flat but gradually climbs for a long way. There was also a headwind that day, that made it brutal. Point of fact, It's felt like a headwind all three times, and the road surface does make it tougher.

The two of us behind did a joint TT effort, sharing the wind, using the aero bars and covered the gap by the bottom of the climb past the turbines. It shows how bad he had hit the wall that we were able to cover the gap. The nature of the road is that you can see people in front of you for a long time, and I could see him, sat up, the bike barely moving.

I persuaded him to stop, and eat some food, but it was now dusk and we were swamped by midges, so we got going again too soon. My friend that had done the joint TT with me to cover the gap is a very experienced long distance Audax rider (Paris Brest, LEL, Brian Chapman, etc) and was annoyed with my other friend for not fueling properly and rode off to Abington on his own. Leaving me to get my Iron Man friend home. I had to sit on the front, take the wind, pull him up the climb and keep him motivated in the failing light. After averaging about 17mph for the day, and 22mph to cover the gap, I had to drop the speed to about 6mph to get him to the Service Station. If I sped up just a little then he fell off the back.

I found this really tough and by the time we got to the Days Inn I was completely spent. I was actually at the point of exhaustion. Dropping the speed had meant spending many more hours on the bike than planned and I had ran out of food, water and got very cold from pedalling so slowly.

I did it again this year, and it was similarly memorable for different reasons. It's nearly broke me twice. So it will always have a special place in my memories. I think it's the toughest part of LeJoG because you set off fresh and excited at the start. The last bit is easy because you can 'see' the finish line, but this bit is the meat and potatoes. It's tough and unglamorous, but I love it

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Paulatic
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby Paulatic » 2 Jan 2018, 10:55am

Boring_Username wrote:Thanks all

Any obvious alternatives to heading towards Abington if starting from Carlisle?

Starting at Carlisle you’ve got to get across the Esk and to the border. You can accomplish most of that on lanes away from the Mway.
From Gretna though any diversion from the routes I’ve offered add lots more miles and lots more hills to get to Abington.
What is your next day Abington to where? Knowing this can help advise an alternative route and cutting out Abington.
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Boring_Username
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby Boring_Username » 2 Jan 2018, 11:11am

Paulatic wrote:What is your next day Abington to where? Knowing this can help advise an alternative route and cutting out Abington.


Not yet decided. We are starting at Carlisle for reasons unrelated to route optimisation, and ending at JoG. Just starting planning

mfpnl
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby mfpnl » 2 Jan 2018, 11:42am

I road this section on a LEJOG with my son in June '17 - but at a very (very!) different pace to Paulatic. Here's my take on it:

As other here have said, we didn't find the presence of the motorway too obtrusive - in fact for much of the route I was hardly aware of it. Having followed some fairly circuitous routes up until that stage, and having endured some really bad traffic south of Carlisle (following diversion caused by road closures), we were just glad to be heading solid North(ish) out of the traffic.

The road surface got bad in places, but having said that we virtually had the road to ourselves, so this wasn't as bigger deal as it might have been on a busy road. We also enjoyed a back wind on this section - and I do remember reflecting on the wisdom of doing south to north.

So far from feeling hemmed in next to a noisy motorway, my memory of this section was a serene day's riding - only marred by the frustration of trying to find a decent pint in Moffat where we camped for the night.

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Paulatic
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby Paulatic » 2 Jan 2018, 12:15pm

mfpnl wrote:I road this section on a LEJOG with my son in June '17 - but at a very (very!) different pace to Paulatic. Here's my take on it:

As other here have said, we didn't find the presence of the motorway too obtrusive - in fact for much of the route I was hardly aware of it. Having followed some fairly circuitous routes up until that stage, and having endured some really bad traffic south of Carlisle (following diversion caused by road closures), we were just glad to be heading solid North(ish) out of the traffic.

The road surface got bad in places, but having said that we virtually had the road to ourselves, so this wasn't as bigger deal as it might have been on a busy road. We also enjoyed a back wind on this section - and I do remember reflecting on the wisdom of doing south to north.

So far from feeling hemmed in next to a noisy motorway, my memory of this section was a serene day's riding - only marred by the frustration of trying to find a decent pint in Moffat where we camped for the night.

I think my pace is similar to yours You’ve got confused with mnichols.
Wracked my brain and I can’t think of a single pint in Moffat I could recommend. Probable best of a bad bunch is the Stag at top of town.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Jan 2018, 12:26pm

Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.
Night Mail - WH Auden


Forgive me a little trip down memory lane, but once upon a time there was no motorway. In the Summer of 1961 I did the longest one-day ride of my life from Leeds to Callander - 250+ miles. I reached the Beattock drag just as I was wondering if it was such a good idea. Night Mail had been in one of the set books for the JMB "O" Level English Lit., that year so I knew it by heart. For anybody unfamiliar with it, the metre varies to reflect the rhythms of a steam train and when it was going round and round in my head, it didn't reflect the rhythm of my legs.

While I've been typing it's occurred to me that the Royal Mail documentary will be on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmciuKsBOi0

During a recent period with a bit of snow, there was a Radio 2 traffic bulletin which mentioned a lorry stuck at Shap. A real blast from the past.

irc
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby irc » 2 Jan 2018, 4:36pm

I've cycled it in the 1990s. Don't remember motorway noise being an issue. I'd say any distant traffic noise is far outweighed by the very low traffic level on the B7076 and subsequent lack of traffic noise and danger within 6 feet of me.

T

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby ferrit worrier » 2 Jan 2018, 5:36pm

irc wrote:I've cycled it in the 1990s. Don't remember motorway noise being an issue. I'd say any distant traffic noise is far outweighed by the very low traffic level on the B7076 and subsequent lack of traffic noise and danger within 6 feet of me.

T

+1 for that. Ive cycled it three times on end to end . The first time in 2009 it was so quiet, I rode down the wrong side of the road for several mins, obviously keeping a good lookout :oops: from memory I think there were about three cars and half a doz motor bikes. The lastime in 2014 it was busier but certainly no problem and the motorway is in general a djstance away, there are occasions when you cross the motorway but the noise wasnt an issue. The surface wasnt great but that was now three years ago.
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mnichols
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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby mnichols » 2 Jan 2018, 7:15pm

thirdcrank wrote:
Forgive me a little trip down memory lane, but once upon a time there was no motorway. In the Summer of 1961 I did the longest one-day ride of my life from Leeds to Callander - 250+ miles. I reached the Beattock drag just as I was wondering if it was such a good idea. Night Mail had been in one of the set books for the JMB "O" Level English Lit., that year so I knew it by heart. For anybody unfamiliar with it, the metre varies to reflect the rhythms of a steam train and when it was going round and round in my head, it didn't reflect the rhythm of my legs.

While I've been typing it's occurred to me that the Royal Mail documentary will be on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmciuKsBOi0

During a recent period with a bit of snow, there was a Radio 2 traffic bulletin which mentioned a lorry stuck at Shap. A real blast from the past.


I love reading people's trips down memory lane. Sounds like an epic day :-)

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Re: Carlisle to Abington - following a motorway?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 2 Jan 2018, 8:04pm

+1 for the Night Mail, one could learn and recite it as motivation

The passenger trains do not struggle up Beattock and Shap now, they have plenty of power, but I would enjoy cycling by the railway

Do freight trains still run over Beattock?
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